You May Never Know
By Ellen Mongan
So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but shall do what pleases me, achieving the end for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)
Our newest grandbaby, Maggie Kate, is six months old and learning to talk. As with all of our thirteen grandchildren, my husband and I, better known as Papa and Nana, rejoice in everything she does. Her first words, “Dah, dah,” brought joy to our souls, as well as her mom’s and dad’s. Maggie practices her new word over and over again. The applause she receives shows how proud of her we all are. Her smile is her way of taking a bow. We all encourage an encore.
A baby learns to speak from her parent’s instruction. As a baby spends time daily with their parents they begin to speak the words they hear. The words heard are formulated in their mind, and then spoken out of their mouth. They practice, and new words are added to their vocabulary each day.
In the same way a Christian learns to speak the Word of God by sitting quietly in prayer. God’s Word says, “I will instruct you in the way you should go. I will guide you with my eye upon you.” We too have to learn a new language, the language of love. As we frequent the sacraments, spend time in prayer, and read the Word of God we too are growing a new vocabulary. When we surround ourselves with other Catholics who are practicing their faith, our faith is ignited. Our love language continues to grow. When we speak or write according to God’s will, our words carry the power of God behind them. We soon become aware that our words influence others! We learn to guard our tongues. God’s word says, “If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth.” (Jeremiah 15:19)
I often say, “You can learn something from everyone, and everyone can learn something from you.” I coined this cliché a long time ago. It has proven true in my life. I try to live these words by listening between the lines as someone shares, with the intent of learning something.
This especially proves true as I daily read CatholicMom contributions and the Daily Gospel Reflection. We are so blessed to have so many women and men contributing, and such a variety of articles. We have so much to learn from one another. CatholicMom has become for me a daily feast.
As a CatholicMom contributor, you may never know that your post touched the heart of another reader. You may never meet the woman or man whose life was changed because they read an article written in prayer by you. I believe the articles are written from the heart of God. You are making a difference. Lives are being touched. I know mine is, and I want to personally thank you for the work you do in Christ’s name.
Isn’t that the way with God? You may never know the lives you have touched. What we all do know is that God’s Words do not return “empty!”
Here is a testimony that I hope will encourage you. Last month Patrick and I took a trip to Phoenix, Arizona, for our forty-fifth wedding anniversary. On the trip home a pastor from Burundi, Africa sat next to me. He had such a great testimony. He spoke out of a maturity in Christ. His words, I will never forget. It was a God appointment.
When there was a pause in the conversation I pulled out the book I was reading, You Are Enough by Danielle Bean. He politely said, “May I see it?” I handed him the book. He smiled. He looked through the book with intent while skimming one of the chapters. I patiently waited for his response. He looked at me eyeball to eyeball, then formulated a question. Even with His African accent I understood every word. “Can I have it?”
“Sure,” I responded without skipping a beat. He spent most of the plane ride reading You Are Enough! I was blessed.
What was this pastor doing in Louisville, Kentucky? He was at a meeting of the Christian Alliance For Orphans. This is the calling on his life. He had been an orphan and had cared for his younger brothers and sisters; now he was giving back. My prayer is that the orphans he takes care of will learn through the words Danielle wrote in You Are Enough. I pray that as they read about each woman in the Bible, they will come to know how much God loves them. Last, I pray that they will open their hearts to let God fill them with His love and blessed assurance that they too are enough. Danielle Bean’s book will bear tremendous fruit in the lives of people she may never know in another continent. Who knows; maybe one day they too may become a contributor to CatholicMom. You never know where your words will go! When the plane landed, we exchanged our goodbyes and business cards.
After this encounter with the missionary, God began to formulate these thoughts in my soul.
We may never know whose lives are being touched by our words or writing. All we can do is prayerfully listen and write from our hearts the words God plants there. Then we trust God to send the words written to those who read our articles. We know that our words will not return void.
Catholic Mom contributors, you are making a difference. Lives are being touched by your writings. You may never know where your words go! You may never know whose life you have touched through God’s language of love. When you touch a life for Christ all we can do is applaud God. Then, of course, ask for an encore!
Copyright 2019 Ellen Mongan